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Aug 16, 2008 03:33 PM

Family-friendly dining in the East Valley (Phx)?

Hey guys. I now have a 10 month old bouncing baby boy, which means that we can't drive out to wherever whenever anymore.

Can you please give your 2 cents on family-friendly dining in the East Valley? Not trendy Scottsdale, but more the Mesa/Chandler/Gilbert area.

Since Hubby and I are Chowhounds, I have a feeling we've prob. been to all of them but I am wondering if there are some other places I haven't been to....

We'd like a list of not-too-"chainy" places that have clean restrooms in case we need to change the bebe.

Our usual dining out list goes something like - C-Fu for dim sum, Takamatsu, Sushi Eye, Pita Jungle, Patsy Grimaldi's, Mint Thai Cafe, Thai Basil, etc...

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

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  1. How about Fountain Hills?

    Boulevard Cafe' on Ave of Fountains is nice family owned place. French, reasonable prices, casual. The family running it was in the business in France for 20 years before coming to the US. Last time we went there they had no liquor license so you could byob with no corkage. They are open breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    1. Flancer's is very family friendly with wonderful sandwiches, salads, pizza, calzones, etc. There is a location in Gilbert and Mesa.

      Flancer's Cafe
      610 N Gilbert Rd Ste 300, Gilbert, AZ 85234

      Flancer's Cafe
      1902 N Higley Rd, Mesa, AZ 85205

      1 Reply
      1. re: scorpioscuba

        We love Flancer's. Their sandwiches are very interesting and tasty.

      2. Joe's Farm Grill in Gilbert. Fresh, well-made, high-quality comfort food (so far the only thing I've had there I haven't loved were the Monte Cristo fritters. They were just so-so). You can eat inside the funky, modernistic building while it's still hot out and once it cools down you can dine outside under the trees. The bathrooms have always been clean when I've been there, with the added bonus of Barbies and G.I. Joes on display and TVs showing cheezy marionette sci-fi movies from the '60s!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bax

          Bax, beat me to it:) Joe's is great and veryfamily oriented. Give the MC fritters another shot Bax, I have had them several times and they were incredible!

          Joe's Farm Grill
          3000 E Ray Rd Ste 101, Gilbert, AZ 85296

          1. re: aztami

            Don't forget Joe's Real BBQ in Gilbert, his original place. Awesome bbq and supremely family friendly. There are always huge groups of kids when we eat there.

            Joe's Real Barbecue
            301 N Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234

        2. Welcome to my world! Here's my house's rotation, broken down by neighborhood, more or less. Some are my hubby's picks- for every pho house I choose, he throws in a pizza place- and there are some mini-chains too, they are kind of hard to avoid completely in the SE Valley. We don't make it up to Tempe that often, so I'm no help there. Hope this helps! I tried some place links but they are being buggy, so you'll have to Google or board search.

          S. Tempe

          Yupha's Thai
          Sushi Eye
          Kabab Palace
          Picazzo Pizza
          AZ Bread Co
          Spices Mediterranean Kitchen
          Jimmy & Joe's Pizza
          P Croissants
          YC's Mongolian Grill


          Joe's Farm Grill
          Chef H
          Gilbert Pizza
          Pita Jungle
          Café Rio
          Sushi Ave

          S. Chandler

          Pitta Souvli
          Gennaro's Pizza
          Kokopelli Mexican Grill
          Bagel Nosh

          Asian Corridor Chandler

          Lee's Sandwiches
          Curry House
          Swadee Thai (haven't tried yet)
          China King

          Downtown Chandler

          Sushi Eye in Motion
          La Stalla (haven't tried yet)
          SanTan Brewery (ok for kids earlier in the evening)
          El Zocalo
          Latitude 8
          Cho Dang
          Elmer's Tacos (for take out!)

          East Mesa

          Tum Nak Thai
          Venezia's Pizza
          Sushi Kee@ Power and Main
          Laguna Fry Bread
          Bellagio Pizza

          1 Reply
          1. re: yamalam

            Thanks yamalam for the exhaustive list! of course, we've tried most of them...Maybe we've even seen your family there... I do recommend Swadee Thai - we just went there for the lunch special this week - if you're able to get out during the wkdays, I recommend it. I don't know about kids and La Stalla on the wknds as I think it tends to be a date night place (but maybe later at night?) but I recommend their pastas and proscuitto pizza as well...

          2. Sushi Ken and Cyclo are also pretty kid-friendly, especially if you go relatively early (although I haven't been in either restroom).

            For times you really want/need to go out but suspect baby trouble might be brewing: he could throw a fit in China King without anyone batting an eye on a weekend morning, the place is crammed with multi-generational families. It'll probably be so busy he'll forget about his troubles and watch other kids, though! I also second Lee's Sandwiches, it's basically tasty fast food, so a little crying wouldn't be a big deal.

            Sushi Ken
            4206 E Chandler Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85048

            Cyclo Vietnamese Cuisine
            1919 W Chandler Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85224